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Shifting population structures and climate change as key drivers of future migration trends

Sylvia Szabo's picture

According to the UN World Population Prospects, the global population is expected to exceed 8.4 billion by 2030 (UN, 2013). This continued population growth will be coupled by shifts in population structures and evolving dynamics of the specific components of demographic change. The impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and evolving temperature and precipitation patterns, will also affect the future migration corridors and migrants stock (Nicholls, 2011). This article argues that the two above phenomena will become the key drivers of global migration trends. With regards to the shifts in population structures, existing evidence suggests that population aging is becoming a major socio-economic challenge, including in EU countries and East Asia. A recent study conducted by OECD (2008) shows that the proportion of people aged 65 or older is projected to double by 2050. Increasing life expectancy combined with below replacement fertility rates imply that within the next two decades a number of countries are likely to experience shortages in labour force. Thus, some traditionally labour sending countries, such as Poland, can expect increased numbers of immigrants, including from the former Soviet Union and Asia. These expected trends have been confirmed by a recent study conducted by EUROSTAT, which states that Europe will become older and more multicultural (Lanzieri, 2011).

Can virtual currencies help lower the cost of remittances?

Dilip Ratha's picture

One of the key messages I took away from TED Global 2014 was that virtual currencies (such as Bitcoin) are a reality, and it is only a matter of time - as little as 5 years, according to some people - before we'd all be using these currencies. The application of virtual currencies to the transfer of money across places and countries seems very promising as it could be nearly costless and instantaneous. Yet I feel that regulators are not prepared for such innovation in the field of cross-border remittances, in part, because they have not had the time to familiarize themselves with these instruments, and in part, also because the implications of virtual currencies for the formulation and implementation of monetary and exchange rate policies are yet to be examined.

Beyond price comparison: informed decisions on remittances

Lotte Nordhus's picture

I have sent loads of money to my family over the last years and I am tired of spilling almost 10 percent of it down the drain each and every time.” Emile, a young Cameroonian living in Germany, was amazed to find out that there was a provider offering much cheaper transfers than the one he had used before to send money home. “You might say it is easy to find out which money transfer provider offers the best deal. But often it is not: much of the information needed is not easily or not at all accessible and many different products make it hard to make a choice. You go for the provider you’ve always used.”

Talking at TED Global (about a hidden force in global economics)

Dilip Ratha's picture

Chief Experience Disruptor. I stared at the name tag again – yes, that was his title. We sat down for tea, and he invited me to test the miracle berry that made lime taste like sweet candy. I ate the lime, all of it – even its thick green skin tasted deliciously sweet. “This berry could help the sweet-loving diabetics you know,” he said, lending me a few packets.  He had just given up a promotion to pursue his dreams: travel the world for 6 months, feed a few thousand people, and continue his side hobby of understanding why people are right-hand-dominant. “Does it have anything to do with the position of the heart?” I offered, lamely, hopefully. “Probably,” he said. “But that does not explain why men’s shirts have buttons on the right, and women’s, on the left.” I have since thought of several implications of being right-handed. Also as an aside, I have become more acutely aware of the clichéd two-handedness in my profession, I mean, of saying ‘on the one hand, and on the other hand.’

Closing of bank accounts of money transfer operators (MTOs) is raising remittance costs

Sonia Plaza's picture

As I mentioned in my previous blog, a renewed focus on Anti Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT) regulations in Australia, the UK, and in the USA are impacting banks and MTOs.

Three effects on the remittance markets are observed. First, Banks stopped offering low cost remittance services. Second, banks closed accounts of MTOs. Two major banks, the Commonwealth Bank and the National Australia Bank, have closed already the accounts of MTOs in Australia. Recently, Westpac announced that it will close the bank accounts of MTOs serving Somalia by the end of this month. And third, small MTOs also closed since they could not any longer operate without bank accounts.  

Migration and Development in the East Asia and Pacific Region: Potential to gain from boosting regular migration

Soonhwa Yi's picture

Remittances to EAP remain buoyant and continue to support macroeconomic stability - projected to increase by 7.0 percent to US$122 billion and to US$127 billion in 2015, as the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief 24 (Oct 2014) reports.

While steadily declining, the cost of remittances to EAP remains close to 8 percent in 3Q2014, according to the report. Money transfer operators (MTOs) contribute to lowering the cost; and cash-to-cash transfers are likely to cost higher than cash-to-account transfers for receiving countries in the region, highlighting the importance of deepening financial inclusion of migrant families in remittance-receiving countries.

Webinar/Seminar on Migration and Remittances: Recent Developments and Outlook 2014-2017

Dilip Ratha's picture

The Migration and Remittances team at the World Bank is pleased to invite you to the following Seminar/Webinar:

Migration and Remittances: Recent Developments and Outlook 2014-2017

Monday, October 20, 2014
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Room MC 8-100
World Bank Main Complex
1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

Presenter: Dilip Ratha, Lead Economist, Head of KNOMAD, Development Prospects Group, Worlld Bank

Leveraging Remittances and Diaspora Resources for a World Free from Malaria

Dilip Ratha's picture

Malaria remains a significant problem for developing countries and exacts a heavy economic and social cost in terms of lost lives, loss of productivity, and foregone incomes and earnings. Despite significant progress in recent decades, the WHO estimates that there are some 207 million cases of malaria and over half a million people killed annually, with the bulk of these in Africa, mostly among children under 5 years of age. About 3.4 billion people (half the world’s population) are at risk of contracting the disease. Combating malaria is high on the agenda of the international development community (see UN Millennium Development Goal 6 and Roll Back Malaria partnership). Significantly greater resources are needed – an estimated $5 billion annually – for achieving the MDG target of full malaria control in all endemic countries. 

Remittances to Developing Countries to Grow by 5 Percent This Year

Dilip Ratha's picture

Remittances by international migrants from developing countries are on course for strong growth this year, while at the same time forced migration due to violence and conflict has reached unprecedented levels, says the World Bank’s latest issue of Migration and Development Brief, released today.

Officially recorded remittances to developing countries are expected to reach $435 billion this year, an increase of 5 percent over 2013. The growth rate this year is substantially faster than the 3.4 percent growth recorded in 2013, driven largely by remittances to Asia and Latin America.